Survey Says Gulf Area Residents Suffering From Depression after Oil Spill

A recent survey found that Gulf area residents are suffering from widespread psychological distress.  The study found that the distress is even worse than that found in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.  The survey, conducted by Ochsner Health Systems, found that three in every ten people were suffering from “probable serious” or “probable mild-moderate” mental illness when scored on the K6 psychological distress scale.

The study found that the young people and financially vulnerable respondents were the most at risk for mental illness in the wake of the BP oil spill.  Respondents of the survey making $25,000 or less annually were the most likely to be classified as having probable serious mental illness at 32%.  Money (34%) and work (19%) were the most commonly mentioned culprits of stress among those in peril.

Respondents ages 21-44 reported that money (40%) and work (33%) were also the most likely reasons they felt stressed.  22% of the age group was classified as likely suffering from serious mental illness.

Leaders of the survey say that the oil spill, and the effect it has had on jobs in the area, is the likely source of much of the depression found in the region.  Not only is the nation in the midst of a financial meltdown, but the oil spill has put fishing bans into place in an area where many depend on fishing in one form or another for their livelihood.

Overall, 37% of residents surveyed in the area said that at some point in the last 30 days they were sad or depressed.


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